Revisiting the palm oil boom: An examination of consumption in the oils complex
The production, trade, and market share of palm oil has shown impressive growth in the last two decades. As a result of sustainability concerns over issues such as deforestation in Indonesia, the causes of the growth in the palm oil market have received considerable attention. The growth of the biofuels market is one potential culprit that has been notably discussed, but it is not the only possible driver of growth in the palm oil market. Restrictions on genetically-modified organisms may have played a role, especially as they relate to limits on oil produced from GMO soybeans. Additionally, increasing concerns over health issues such as trans-fats may have spurred substitution to the low trans-fats palm oil. This analysis details some of the changes in net imports, market shares, and world prices that the edible oil complex has undergone. Additionally, a vector-error correction model and Granger causality are applied to the prices of the edible oils. The differences in causality across the oils in the complex suggest that the drivers of change may be more multi-dimensional than expected.
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